Face Fly - Musca autumnalis


Averaging about 7 - 8 mm long with 4 dark stripes on the thorax. The male has an orange and black patterned abdomen whereas in the female this is a grey pattern.

Identification difficulty

This species gets its common name from its habit of landing on the faces of cattle where they feed on tears, sweat and blood (from the bites of other flies). However the adults also feed on nectar and can also be found on flowers, or just sunning on posts and fences.

When to see it

March to October peaking in April and May.

Life History

They breed in cattle dung where the larvae feed.

UK Status

Widespread and common in England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map